Jewish groups ‘reassured’ after meeting with new Universities Minister

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Jewish groups ‘reassured’ after meeting with new Universities Minister

Jo Johnson discussed antisemitism on campus with Jewish student representatives, promising a zero tolerance approach

Universities minister Jo Johnson
Universities minister Jo Johnson

Jewish student representatives said they felt “reassured” after meeting Universities Minister Jo Johnson to discuss antisemitism concerns on campus this week.

Johnson, who held the same role from 2015-18, was given his old portfolio back by his brother Boris last month, and said he was pleased to have met representatives of the Jewish groups.

They included Board of Deputies vice-president Amanda Bowman, Union of Jewish Students president Esther Offenberg, Jewish Leadership Council policy head Claudia Mendoza, Jonny Newton from the Community Security Trust (CST) and Jewish Chaplaincy representative Rabbi Michael Rosenfeld-Schueler.

In a joint statement after the meeting, they said: “The Minister’s previous work in the role on the issues of antisemitism and freedom of speech on campus reassures us that under this government, Jewish life on campus will thrive in a safe and welcoming environment for all.”

Johnson said: “I have listened to the concerns and challenges Jewish students face and I am clear that there is no place within higher education for any form of hatred or discrimination – including antisemitism.

“That is why the Government is working with the Office for Students and Universities UK to take action to ensure everyone can thrive at university.”

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